Friday Five

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Well, we’re back in Switzerland, and my was it a hectic trip! Both A & my families were in Boston (Andrew’s parents live there, but his siblings all came in, and my parents flew up), so we bounced from one family thing to another and also had a few meetings scheduled while in town. We spent a couple of nights at a friend’s in Cambridge, which was lovely, and had a couple of meet-ups with friends and had a lovely New Year’s Eve. All in all, it was a wonderful but exhausting trip. Since we returned Monday afternoon, we’ve been catching up on email (and doctors’ appointments for me) and sleeping!

We were mostly offline for the trip — we didn’t bother with local SIM cards or anything, so we were online iff we had wifi access on our phones, and that was a good mental break for me. And that means I didn’t read much and lost track of the news catastrophe of the day.

So that means today’s link roundup is a little different — it’s a little more random.

1) Twitter friend Olivia Laing is on book tour! I can’t recommend enough that you go check out her work. Her first book, To the River, was excellent, and her second, The Trip to Echo Spring, has been getting rave reviews from everyone. Seriously. Nick Cave, Hilary Mantel, The NYTimes Book Review, Vanity Fair, People magazine — everyone. She was also shortlisted for the Costa. She’s currently on tour in the US. The schedule is here. For a taste of her writing, here’s an essay she wrote for Aeon Magazine on loneliness in NY.

2) I thought this art installation was pretty cool — “A Giant Twisting Serpent Skeleton Emerges from the Loire River in France” (via Scott Eaton)

3) This is a long but excellent read on women and internet harassment, “Why Women Aren’t Welcome on the Internet.” File under awful but important.

4) For some gorgeous art, check out Shelley Jackson‘s current work in progress, which is a story written in snow. Shelley wrote the children’s book Mimi’s Dada Catifesto (among others) and did an earlier story via words tattooed on volunteers.

5) And for all of the parents of small children out there, this one is so terrible but so true: Hello Stranger On the Street, Could You Please Tell Me How to Take Care of My Baby?

And on that note, happy weekend! And happy new year!

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